A 10-year-old boy from New York was killed during a shooting that left his 29-year-old uncle wounded on Saturday night when an unidentified gunman opened fire inside their residence, authorities said.
The incident is the latest in a series of gun violence plaguing the United States in recent weeks, sowing fear among the public. Police identified the young victim as Justin Wallace and is the most recent victim of shootings that have significantly increased compared to last year. Data analysis showed that gun violence surged by 73% in May compared to last year's numbers.
Authorities said the New York shooting occurred at around 9:30 p.m. in the Queens borough's Far Rockaway section. Police revealed the victim, and his unidentified uncle, who were inside their home, were shot by an unknown assailant who was on the sidewalk.
Officials said Wallace was shot in his torso and was immediately taken to St. John's Episcopal Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Medical professionals continued to treat his uncle for non-life-threatening injuries.
During a sweep of the scene of the crime, police discovered multiple shell casings on the sidewalk beside the home. Police said they were investigating to determine whether or not the gunman's motive was due to a dispute.
Albert Wallace, the father of the young victim, said during an interview the shooting may have resulted from a previous encounter with a man and a dispute because of a parking space earlier that evening. The incident involved his nephew, the victim who was injured during the shooting.
The father said he and his son, who was in sixth grade, were out visiting relatives inside the home and were about to leave when the shooting occurred. Albert said he saw his son lying down on the ground curled up. He said he discovered a pool of blood when he turned him over and just heard a deep sigh.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio posted about the shooting on Twitter on Sunday. He expressed his sympathies to the family of the young victim and called the crime a "coward's act," ABC News reported.
Searching for Justice
Mayor de Blasio said the feelings of a parent who sees their child die before themselves is an immeasurable amount of pain.
Footage of the incident was caught on camera by the home's security cameras, which showed the gunman walking on the sidewalk before hanging on to the fence and shooting inside the home. The video showed the assailant fired at least eight shots inside the residence before quickly fleeing the scene of the crime.
On Tuesday, the young boy would have celebrated his 11th birthday. The boy's mother, Aretha Douglas Wallace, said on Sunday afternoon her son was her pride and joy, The New York Times reported.